South Yorkshire hospital trusts ‘report too few safety incidents’

Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital
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Three hospital trusts in South Yorkshire are not reporting safety breaches often enough, according to a new official list.

An NHS website launched yesterday allows patients to check staffing levels on wards, infection rates, and whether hospital trusts are ‘open and honest’ about reporting major and minor safety incidents.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, the Rotherham Foundation Trust and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals were named as having a poor culture of reporting breaches.

Sheffield and Doncaster were rated ‘poor’ for a ‘potential under-reporting of patient safety incidents’ - while Rotherham received the same rating for a ‘potential under-reporting of safety incidents resulting in death or severe harm’.

Barnsley Hospital’s reporting rate was ‘as expected’.

Dr David Throssell, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ medical director, said staff were being reminded of the need to flag up even the most minor safety incidents, and a new electronic system had been introduced to make the process quicker and easier.

“Never events, serious untoward incidents or other safety issues are routinely reported to our public board meetings, we do not hesitate to ask for independent scrutiny, and learning from incidents is shared with teams internally so that any actions can be taken to limit the chances of an incident occurring again,” he said.

“This is not the behaviour of an organisation that does not have an honest and transparent approach to safety or reporting of incidents.”

Dr Throssell said the trust had offered to become one of the first to join a new initiative called Sign Up To Safety.

Richard Parker, Doncaster’s director of nursing, midwifery and quality, said the trust had also phased out paper incident forms which ‘caused delays in ensuring data reached the national database in time for their deadline’.

“We would like to reassure people that any incident is openly reported and thoroughly investigated,” he said.